Top tips and destination ideas for successful short city breaks in Europe

If you want to get away to Europe for a weekend city break, here are some ideas on where to go and what to do, no matter what your budget.

Cheap weekend city breaks in Europe

Not all city breaks have to be expensive, Europe has plenty of good value destinations where you can enjoy plenty of culture, history and food without breaking the bank.

Enjoy a budget weekend break in Kraków

Poland's second biggest city is not only good value, it has a healthy dose of history and culture to keep you interested, with grand castles, museums, cosy cellar pubs and a medieval core that remains remarkably intact. Holiday lettings in Kraków range from grand apartments in the heart of the old town to country homes a short bus ride away, but either way you'll be well placed to visit the historic sights both inside and outside the city, from atmospheric Wawel Castle and the Wieliczka Salt Mine to the the sombre Auschwitz-Birkenau, a former concentration camp.

Save the pennies in Latvia

Riga may not be the first name on your lips when you think of weekends away in Europe, but this gem of a Latvian city has all the history, culture and good looks you could hope for - and it's excellent value, too. Wherever you choose to base yourself, your holiday rental will give you access to a landscape of Gothic spires, cobbled medieval streets and gracious art nouveau buildings - the largest collection in the world. Not only that, Riga has a dynamic, youthful vibe that's evidenced by its plentiful hipster bars and vintage shops.

Romantic weekend city breaks in Europe

Full of history, culture and good food, Europe is the perfect place to head for a city break with your significant other, whether you're celebrating a birthday or anniversary, or taking some time away from the kids.

Soak up the culture in historic Moscow

Just a 3 hour flight from the UK, Moscow is packed with historic squares and sweeping avenues that are begging for romantic strolls. Your holiday home will allow you to explore the iconic buildings of Red Square, check out the old masters at the Tretyakov Gallery and amble along Old Arbat, the heart of tourist Moscow, which once attracted some of Russia’s best known writers and artists. You should also make time to explore the city in the evening - no romantic visit to Moscow would be complete without a visit to the ballet or the opera.

Roam the roads of romantic Rome

There's no doubt that Rome is one of the most romantic cities in the world, with all the ancient architecture, candlelit dining spots and inspiring art galleries you could hope for. It also has a fantastic selection of holiday rentals, whether you're looking to ramp up the romance with views out over the rooftops, or hole up in a historic villa outside the city. Wherever you end up, you won't be short of things to do, with strolls through the Villa Borghese gardens and boat trips down the Tiber River top of the list for couples in search of romance.

European weekend city breaks in the sun

If you're heading to Europe for a weekend city break, why not perk it up with a little sunshine? Down in the Mediterranean you'll find warm temperatures and bright vistas well after the autumn chill sets in in the UK.

Soak up the rays on the Côte d'Azur with a weekend break in Nice

Make your way down to Nice for the weekend and not only will you be able to enjoy elegant streets full of Belle Époque architecture, you can spend time lounging on a glorious Mediterranean beach, shopping in the city's famously ritzy boutiques or dining in some of the best restaurants the South of France has to offer. And at the end of the day you'll have a great choice of places to retire to, whether you fancy an elegant seafront apartment with views of the main promenade, or a house rental up in the hills with sweeping views of the bay.

Enjoy an autumn sojourn in Athens

Yes, most people head to Greece for the islands, but Athens has heaps on offer too, especially if you only have a weekend to spare. And what's more, summer lingers on here long after the coats come out in the UK. Holiday homes here are suitably varied, ranging from modern villas with pools to historic apartments with views of the Acropolis. Wherever you end up, you won't be short of things to do. Visits to the city's ancient sites top the list, but you'll also find excellent contemporary museums and a thriving modern art scene.